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The Rossoneri are still hoping to bring the Italy international to San Siro in January, and would be willing to offload the defender in order to fund the potential deal

EXCLUSIVE
By Gaia Brunelli

AC Milan are looking to offload defender Philippe Mexes to help finance a deal for Manchester City misfit Mario Balotelli during the January transfer window, Goal.com can reveal.

The English champions are holding out for a sum of £31.1 million for the forward, who has already put the wheels in motion as he prepares to leave the club.

That sum exceeds what the Rossoneri are willing to pay for the player, but club CEO Adriano Galliani is hoping to subsidise the transfer with the sale of Mexes.

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The club have grown frustrated with the Frenchman's poor performances in recent weeks, and his sale would free up around £3.8m in wages, which would go towards a move for Balotelli.

Roberto Mancini has remained adamant that the former Inter man would not be leaving the club in Januarydespite player and manager being involved in a training ground row at the start of the year.

And, although AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi claimed that Balotelli was a "rotten" apple and later apologised, the seven-time European champions have proposed a deal worth £25m, to be paid over six years, to bring him back to his homeland, as Goal.com revealed on Tuesday.

However, City are hoping for a better deal that would see his transfer fee paid over the course of three years.

The Rossoneri's audacious attempt to bring Kaka back to San Siro from Real Madrid fell through this week, but they remain hopeful of adding a big name to their squad this winter.

Should Mexes leave Milan, Galliani & Co. would look to bring in Davide Astori of Cagliari, but the Sardinian outfit are unlikely to want to sell the defender.

Their second-choice replacement is Chievo's Marco Andreolli, whose contract expires in the summer.

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